An Interview With Singer-Songwriter JEREMY ROSKE All About His Newest Album, ‘Heartstorm’ and More!
On October 30th, musician Jeremy Roske released his newest album, “Heartstorm” where be explores transformation and redemption.
Infused with modern and cultural influences, Roske’s sound is a unique mix of healing world fusion, soul music, and socially aware melodic messages doused in heartfelt folk. A founding member of the Earth Guardians, he’s spent his career writing and performing music to uplift and inspire the masses. Since 1995, he’s toured both nationally and internationally, released a critically acclaimed debut solo album “People Rise,” and continues to use his music to heal and inspire hope. Throughout the 11 tracks on his newest album, he takes listeners on a journey that explores the profoundly transformational journey of redemption, shadow work, and choosing love in the face of fear.
The album’s debut single, “A Little Love,” steps back and looks at what the world is collectively facing in a time of turmoil, sickness, and uncertainty. As he sings about focusing on acts of love and allowing ourselves to dive into the warmth of kindness, the melody billows and breathes with a sense of change in the face of overwhelming adversity. It’s a soft call to action that effortlessly pulls at your heartstrings.
Connect With Jeremy Roske Online Here: WEBSITE
Learn more about Jeremy Roske in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! So how are you keeping busy and musical these days during the pandemic? How are you staying connected to your fans? Are you finding that social media is even more useful now?
These days I’ve been keeping busy by promoting my album, writing new songs, and training my voice so that when things open up again, I’m ready. Like many musicians, all my gigs got canceled, so I’ve had to adjust from performing live to virtual events. It is a double-edged sword. It’s been great to reach fans from all over the world from the comfort of my studio but, I really missed connecting with people and feeling the energy of a live concert. Social media is beneficial, but I’m not a big fan of being in front of my computer for hours. It zaps my life force and it’s a constant dance to find that balance.
Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be a musician? What do you think motivates you day in and day out? How has that drive changed since you first starting writing songs?
I’ve always felt drawn to music. When I was ten, I started playing the violin, got my first guitar at eleven, and wrote my first rap song when I was twelve. The ball just kept rolling. I was touring the U.S. by the time I was fifteen. The experience of being on stage and connecting with people through music really set into my bones. I got to tour internationally in my mid-twenties, and music became a way for me to relate and find common ground with people from all over the world. Studying Carnatic music in India opened me up to the power of sound as a spiritual practice, and my attention shifted inwards to explore vibration and frequency at a whole other level. Now it is a part of my daily routine, and I need music like food and water.
How do you think your hometown has influenced the kind of music that you make? If not, why is that?
The island life on Maui, where I grew up, really shaped my musical beginnings. As I mentioned, I got into hip-hop and reggae early on, and I feel those vibes reflect Hawaii’s lifestyle. I spent a lot of time in nature as a kid. I got my poetic rhythm and flow from the crashing of the waves, the palm trees’ rustling sound, the powerful churning of waterfalls, and the vibrant life all around me.
Growing up, how important was music in your life? Was your family and friends always supportive of this career choice? If you weren’t a musician today, what else could you see yourself doing?
Music has always been central to my life. It is how I retreat from the busy, noisy world and connect with myself and express who I am. My family has always been really supportive. My dad handed me the mic when I was around thirteen and empowered me to share my songs. It’s a running joke in my family because my parents always ask me to play a song whenever we get together and have friends over. I playfully reply, “I’m not an on-demand jukebox…” I resist a bit but always give in to their request. If I wasn’t making music, I would probably be pursuing my passion for surfing and finding the perfect wave.
What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music your career? What has been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all? Is there anything you wish you could go back and tell your younger self about this industry?
My music journey has not been a straight-arrow path but more like a meandering walk through the countryside. I’m a “go with the flow” guy, and I haven’t had that clear, ambitious drive to be famous and achieve some statues or accolades. This has been my biggest challenge over the years. Finding the fire and energy to do what is needed to make it as a musician, which, as we know, is challenging. I have been derailed many times in my career, and it has sometimes taken years to get back on track. I finally found my groove, and the momentum is building with my music. All I got to do is keep showing up every day and make it happen. I would tell my younger self to stay focused and committed to my dreams and not get distracted by other people’s drama and ideas of what I should be or become.
Let’s talk about your recently released album, “Heartstorm.” What did it feel like releasing this collection? Did anything surprise you about the overall process? Can you describe the themes that you explore on this album? What was it like embracing all of them for the music?
Releasing “Heartstorm” feels fantastic and overwhelming at the same time! It’s been a long time coming. This storm has been brewing for fifteen years, and finally, it’s here. The biggest surprise in the process was the incredible energy and clarity I felt in the studio recording and producing the tracks. Every day I would show up and ask what the music wants and serve that vision. The album explores a transformational journey mapping the terrain of the heart. The songs ultimately tell a redemption story, having the courage, facing my shadows, embracing my demons, and opening more to love.
While it’s difficult, can you pick out a few of your favorites on “Heartstorm”? What was it like writing them and where did the inspiration for them come from exactly?
Some of my favorites include Surrender, Remind Me, and Steady She Goes.
‘Surrender’ poured out of me a few years ago while living in India. I was confronted by situations beyond my control, and surrender was the only option left. With this song, I turn myself inside out for all to see. Filled with vulnerability, I let go of the known shore and allow myself to be carried by the river of life. It is about surrendering to the will of the absolute and returning to the heart of true love, the ocean of mercy and compassion.
‘Remind Me’ was inspired by a poem written by my older brother. It feels like pinky-sware-pact you make with your best friend to stay up all night and not fall asleep until the sun rises. In essence, we are here to remind each other of our shared divinity and connectedness.
‘Steady She Goes’ dives into the landscape of the heart. It is my journey of understanding what being in a committed relationship really means. To keep showing up no matter what, even if my heart has been broken a hundred times. To feel the highs, I had to taste the lows and climb my way back to understand myself and know where I stand. ‘Steady She Goes’ is a mantra invoking the courage to be brave and live with an open heart. It is a reminder that nothing is permanent, there is a time to stick it through, and there is a time to let go.
Do you have plans to make any music videos for the songs on this new album? If you have already, what was that experience like?
I would love to make some more music videos for sure. Due to Covid, we have been pretty isolated, and it’s been harder to get a production together. I’ve got some great ideas brewing and looking forward to seeing how they develop. I did release one music video for my featured single ‘A Little Love’. My intention with this video was to shine a light on humanity’s basic goodness in a very intense and polarized world. I wanted to share a message of hope and remind people that every small act of kindness can create a tidal wave of change.
How do you think you and your music has grown over the years and since you first started writing music? What has remained the same?
Wow, so much growth and change. Music has always reflected my inner struggles and breakthroughs and has been a vehicle for my expression. This has been a constant throughout my musical journey. As I explored different music genres and lived in various places around the world, all of this made its way into my music, and my sound evolved. In my teens and twenties, I was mainly focused on writing rhymes and being a front man for my band. I started to do a lot of solo travel, so I dove into perfecting my guitar skills to accompany myself. Spending time in India and studying Carnatic music shifted my focus from rapping to exploring my singing voice. At some point, I just let go of the words and would get lost in the world of sounds. Now I feel like I have been able to integrate all of these different aspects of my expression, and it’s exhilarating. I’m curious to see how my music will evolve moving forward.
What musicians, would you absolutely love to work with in the future? Who has consistently been inspiring you and the music that you make?
I would love to work with Bobby McFerrin. I feel so much freedom and joy in his music. I am inspired by how he jumps into the unknown and creates so much magic with his voice. He is a real inspiration for me, and I aspire to embody some of that magic. Some other artists that have inspired and shaped my music are Peter Gabriel, Sting, Bob Marley, Cat Stevens, Michael Franti, and Arrested Development.
At the end of the day, what do you hope people take away from your music?
I hope that my music inspires people to connect with their humanity and divinity and have the courage to live in their hearts. If people can feel a bit more love and acceptance for themselves and others, my music has fulfilled its purpose.